I do like a wander around a graveyard. I’m lucky because my wife holds a similar enthusiasm for hanging with those who have gone on before and we often spend time in strange countries just looking at the names and, if they share them, the faces. The names, the birthdates and the places always tell a story however, so imagining the face and the character is the creative part of churchyard stroll. If you find yourself with similar feelings I recommend Peter Ross’s excellent A Tomb With a View as a good summer read.

We went to Normandy with the family some twenty odd years ago and I overheard my youngest daughter (5 at the time) showing the holiday snaps to her pal from down the road. ‘That’s a graveyard. That’s another graveyard,’ she commented to her surprised friend, ‘we usually went to one each day.’ This, of course was not true, I’m sure it was more frequent than that. It was Normandy, mind you, and it is difficult to get through the main towns and villages of Calvados without stumbling upon a cemetery or two. The point of such places is to remember our family and our friends but in the case of these graves the poignancy was in the average age of the fallen. All far too young.

When we go to Donegal, where my wife’s family come from, we often spend time in the most beautiful graveyard of all. Set beside the Magheragallan Beach below Bunbeg, it’s a peaceful resting place for so many familiar faces we have known over the years. I’ve been going over to that part of the world the last thirty five years or so and I’ve been lucky enough to visit twice in the last few weeks.

Last week I visited HomePlace, the Seamus Heaney Centre in Belaghy Co Derry which is dedicated to making the connection between the poet and the place in which he grew up. It’s a wonderful museum which constantly draws you back to the poems. Before we travelled on to Donegal we visited Heaney’s grave in the local churchyard. There amongst the granite marble edifices and the glowing tributes to lost loved ones, along a gravel path and set back from all the other plots stood a simple headstone with the poet’s name, birth and death dates and an inscription reading:  Walk on air against your better judgement.

A couple of days later we took a short road trip down the west coast to Sligo and stopped in a small churchyard in Drumcliffe where, under the shadow of Ben Bulben, the poet WB Yeats is laid to rest. Similarly, the plot is marked by an undistinguished stone plaque set slightly apart from the other gravestones. He, of course, set down in verse his own inscription: Cast a cold eye on life on death. Hosrseman pass by.

I liked the otherness of the poets spots. Neither quite belonging but neither completely set apart. It seemed to me wholly appropriate they should straddle that middle ground. It is the poet’s role to be from us but not always of us. Not for these great poets the glory and splendour of poets corner in The Abbey, but rather their own particular corners.

I thought of all of this as I went through some great singular songwriters who we’ll play on this week’s AC. Listen out for Jason Isbell, Briscoe and Josh Ritter. Hang in for some country post punk from The Countess Of Fife and listen out for glorious re imaginings of classic songs from Teddy Thompson, Kate and Anna McGarrigle and (for the first time ever on The AC) The great Howard Tate.

There’s so much to love and each with their own particular unique voice. It’s not poetry, it’s country music but it has a way of nestling just as firmly in my heart. Join me to listen in on BBC Radio Scotland this Tuesday evening or in your own time on BBC Sounds.